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Jan 18, 2022 at 7.45pm UK
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone
Ginnelly (46', 75')
Souttar (73'), Smith (89')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Cleary (60'), Davidson (70'), Gordon (90+3')

Preview: Hearts vs. St Johnstone - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Hearts vs. St Johnstone - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Scottish Premiership clash between Hearts and St Johnstone, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Hearts will be aiming to kick-start their 2022 in winning ways as they will attempt to extend the run of victories to three in a row when they face St Johnstone on Tuesday.

The visitors are currently bottom of the league and are in the midst of a nine-match run without three points, with pressure on every performance in the second half of the season.

Match preview

Hearts made an impressive start to the season in the first half of the campaign, which is why they find themselves in third place after the winter break.

The Jambos managed to win half of their games in the SPL during 2021, and there were only four defeats within that period, which brought a lot of confidence to the squad.

As the year drew to a close, Robbie Neilson's team secured consecutive victories by defeating Dundee and Ross County, which is something they shall be trying to extend on Tuesday night.

Michael Smith and Ben Woodburn were both on target in their most recent outing against the Staggies, and even though they conceded in that particular game, defensively the group have been impressive.

Hearts have only conceded 18 goals all season, which is a record that is only beaten by Celtic and Rangers so far, showcasing the focus that the team have placed onto that.

The Saints have also done well at the back, putting in some good efforts, but it is finding the back of the net that they have found difficult throughout this campaign.

St Johnstone have only scored 11 times this season, which has been an issue for them in terms of picking up points throughout the campaign.

Callum Davidson's men have only won three games so far in the SPL; however, they were able to take a point from their encounter with Hearts earlier this season.

The two teams battled out a 1-1 draw, with Liam Gordon giving the Saints the lead in the 11th minute before Josh Ginnelly drew the Jambos level before half time.

However, St Johnstone have now gone nine games in a row without a victory, and with four points already separating them and safety, there is a real urgency for that to change soon.

Hearts Scottish Premiership form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Hearts form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

St Johnstone Scottish Premiership form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

St Johnstone form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Beni Baningime has been a long-term absentee for Hearts due to his knee injury; however, prior to the winter break, Neilson confirmed that he should be available for this fixture.

Meanwhile, Craig Halkett also hobbled off during their Boxing Day fixture due to an ankle issue, which could be a cause for concern here.

John Souttar is also set to join Rangers in the summer, which means he will not be in the long-term plans for the Jambos, but he should still feature until that point.

After suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage, David Wotherspoon's season was brought to an end, which is an issue St Johnstone will have to deal with.

Chris Kane could end up starting for the Saints on Tuesday though, after finding the back of the net from the bench in their previous outing.

Hearts possible starting lineup:
Gordon; Cochrane, Kingsley, Souttar; Moore, Smith, Haring, Halliday; McEneff, McKay, Woodburn

St Johnstone possible starting lineup:
Parish; Dendoncker, Gordon, McCart; Brown, Bryson, Butterfield, Booth; Crawford, Solomon-Otabor; Kane

We say: Hearts 2-0 St Johnstone

St Johnstone are in desperate need of points at the moment due to the fact they are bottom of the league, but this will be a tough first fixture back from the break.

Hearts ended the year in good form, and they have been one of the most dominant teams in the division so far this season, which they should be able to continue here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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